EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FTW3 Ultra review: Speed and sensors

The EVGA FTW3 Ultra is the fastest GeForce RTX 3060 Ti we've tested.

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Power draw, thermals, and noise

We test power draw by looping the F1 2020 benchmark at 4K for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter, which measures the power consumption of our entire test system. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion. 

This isn’t a worst-case test; we removed the Core i7 8700K’s overclock and specifically chose a GPU-bound game running at a GPU-bound resolution to gauge performance when the graphics card is sweating hard. If you’re playing a game that also hammers the CPU, you could see higher overall system power draws. Consider yourself warned.

power Brad Chacos/IDG

EVGA’s FTW3 Ultra uses a lot more power than the other RTX 3060 Ti models we’ve tested. It’s the highest-clocked model of the three tested, with a higher default power limit, and it includes an extra fan and more RGB lighting. It draws even more power than the step-up RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6800! But while that’s worth noting here, those extra features are good for performance-oriented gamers, and you shouldn’t let the increased power demands turn you off this card.

We test thermals by leaving GPU-Z open during the F1 2020 power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.

temps Brad Chacos/IDG

Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition used a radical, expensive cooler design to achieve its fantastically low temperatures, but EVGA’s reasonably sized FTW3 Ultra runs even cooler. It posts one of the best results in this chart—though it can’t come near the absolutely frigid temps of the monstrous triple-slot Asus TUF.

Achieving such cool thermals in the standard-sized design comes at a slight cost though. The FTW3 Ultra is a wee bit louder than Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition, though it’s still far from loud. It sounds like a standard graphics card rather than a quiet one (unlike the utterly silent Asus TUF). Since EVGA’s card runs so cool you could manually adjust the fan curve to run slower—and thus quieter—if you don’t mind slightly higher temperatures.

Should you buy the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FTW3 Ultra?

evga rtx 3060 ti ftw3 ultra 4 Brad Chacos/IDG

The EVGA GeForce FTW3 Ultra offers a competent custom spin on Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, which itself is a drop-dead fantastic GPU for 1440p or high-refresh rate 1080p gaming. It’s perfectly capable of playing games with ray tracing enabled as well, especially if you flip on Nvidia’s DLSS technology. EVGA’s card is the fastest RTX 3060 Ti we’ve tested thanks to its higher power limits and clock speeds, albeit by a very slim margin. It’s faster than the RTX 2080 Super, the second most-powerful card released last generation.

That comes with some tradeoffs however, as the FTW3 Ultra draws much more power and makes slightly more noise than Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition. It’s not loud whatsoever, though. Tinkerers will appreciate EVGA’s abundant iCX temperature sensors and sublime Precision X1 management software. The lack of the dual-BIOS switch found in pricier RTX 30-series FTW3 offerings is a bummer on the other hand, but not a deal breaker. (The Asus TUF RTX 3060 Ti includes a dual BIOS if you want one.) And EVGA’s custom support experience excels compared to most graphics card vendors.

Usually, we break down the pros and cons of various graphics cards more deeply in our conclusions, but value is hard to judge in today’s market, where graphics cards sell out in seconds and keep getting more expensive. The EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FTW3 Ultra is a solid version of a spectacular GPU. If you can find one in stock for roughly the same price as other custom RTX 3060 Ti models—whatever those prices may be when you read this—it earns our recommendation. The Asus TUF is also worth considering if you place a premium on frigid, silent, almost overengineered cooling over EVGA’s higher clock speeds, power limits, and overclocking-friendly software.

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At a Glance
  • The EVGA FTW3 Ultra is the fastest GeForce RTX 3060 Ti we've tested. It runs a little louder and draws more power than rival models, but it's nothing to be concerned about. This is a good graphics card.

    Pros

    • Spectacular 1440p gaming
    • 8GB of memory is good for 1440p
    • Great ray tracing performance with DLSS
    • High factory overclock
    • Very cool, reasonably quiet custom design
    • Loaded with iCX temperature sensors
    • Nvidia software: Reflex, G-Sync, Shadowplay, Broadcast, RTX IO, DLSS

    Cons

    • 8GB of GDDR6 memory limits future 4K gaming potential
    • Higher power draw than other RTX 3060 Ti models
    • Louder than other RTX 3060 Ti models (but still very acceptable)
    • No dual BIOS switch
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